Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Oklahoma (BCBSOK) has continued its mission to serve our members for more than 80 years as the state’s most trusted name in health insurance. That commitment is fueled by our passion, experience and our dedicated employees.
One example of those employees is Kevin Holmes, who recently celebrated his 34th year with BCBSOK. Holmes’ enthusiasm remains as infectious now as it was when he began with the company in 1989. Whether it’s supporting a company-wide initiative, celebrating a notable success or leading a memorable rendition of the 12 Days of Christmas, Holmes’ high energy is evident to those around him.
“I have always been very energetic,” Holmes says. “I think it might go back to my days working in the restaurant industry where everything was go-go-go. You just have to keep moving the whole time.”
In Holmes’ most recent role, he serves as the senior manager for Oklahoma business development. He manages the business development team and project management for the Oklahoma leadership along with the Mobile Assistance Center, a program that helps enroll and educate uninsured individuals. He is also renowned for his role of Budget Man, which includes his own Budget Man image.
A University of Tulsa graduate, Holmes was armed with an accounting degree out of college but initially uncertain of his career path.
“I knew if I could get myself in a larger company, I could work my way up. That was my plan,” Holmes says. “But, at the time, the market was saturated. I was not finding a position because everybody wanted experience. My wife had just delivered our first child the month before, so I was desperate for a job.”
Holmes’ career at BCBSOK began through a temp agency as he landed a job in the supply department doing deliveries. Just two weeks into the job, he was hired permanently. Six months later, he joined the billing department and, a year later, moved into general accounting, then to cost accounting and budgets, where he was a supervisor for many years.
“I always knew I just wanted to advance my career. I looked for opportunities as they would come open,” Holmes says. “For my own self, I’ve always strived to be the best I can be, wherever I am. If I was in the supply department, I wanted to perform at my best.”
Holmes, who also served as a youth pastor at his church for 30 years, noted some of the more significant changes he has experienced since joining BCBSOK, including the difference in dress code.
“When I first started out in supply department, I had to wear a shirt, slacks and a tie,” he recalls. “Ties were required for guys. Pantyhose were required for women, and they had to wear dresses or nice slacks.”
Holmes says what he has enjoyed most about his time at BCBSOK is the people and ever-changing landscape of health insurance.
“God has blessed me and given me the privilege to work with great people and teams over the years,” he says. “I also enjoy working in the insurance industry, you never know what tomorrow will bring.”
Holmes is one of several examples of longevity among BCBSOK employees. As of June 2023, more than 160 Oklahoma-based employees have been with the company at least 20 years.
For those new to BCBSOK or interested in joining the team, Holmes shares his secret to success.
“Continue to meet new people and expand your network,” says Holmes, who is also known for his can-do attitude. “There are plenty of opportunities to advance your career here. Work hard and increase your knowledge. You never know where you will be in a few years.”